On Rule #42: Running is Balls, Even for the Maillot Jaune

[rule number =42/]

Alright people, we heard you. Chris Froome ran. But he was going to lose the Tour de France. I’ve got news for you: Cyclocrossers run, too. So do convicts, burglars, children, footballers, and triathletes. And anyone who has ever seen a Grizzly Bear up close. And all of them ran because they were going to lose something. The person with the bear has the best case here, as far as I’m concerned, and I’ll be disappointed if they didn’t trip something with a heartbeat just to gain a little extra advantage.

Because if you’re already stooping so low as to run, your life better be on the line, and you better be willing to play dirty.

You know what the worst kind of running is? A road cyclist in carbon-soled shoes designed to be so inflexible that even Admiral Tarkin would approve of them. I once jacked up a cyclocross bike so badly I had to break the chain to get it unwound, and because I didn’t have a chain tool I ran the rest of the lap to finish the race. Finishing the race on foot was almost as humiliating as crashing because I was too dumb to appreciate that 15 PSI tires don’t corner as tightly as 110 PSI tires do.

Worst. Day. Of. My. Life.

Including that time I crapped my pantaloons on a transcontinental flight in India.

In conclusion of Froome’s Rule #42 violation, here are the facts:

  1. Yes, Chris Froome was knocked down by race motos. (He actually crashed into another rider who was knocked down by another rider who was knocked down by a race moto.)
  2. Yes, Chris Froome was in the Maillot Jaune and everybody knows everybody with any dignity always waits for the Maillot Jaune, no matter how many riders from the crash actually caused them to crash.
  3. Yes, Chris Froome’s bike was broken. I’m not trying to be adversary here, but do you remember when COTHO’s bike broke in a crash on Luz Ardiden and he just rode it home to win the stage anyway? Yeah, me too. And that guy was a dick. And only dicks ride broken bikes. Chris Froome is less of a dick so shouldn’t need to ride a broken bike. Obviously.
  4. Jens Voigt once rode a child’s bike to finish a stage within the time limit. Jens Voigt used to eat broken bikes for breakfast, just to keep regular.
  5. Chris Froome looked so completely awful running in his little carbon ballerina slippers that he should lose the Tour de France on appearances alone.

The verdict is: he violated Rule #42 and the UCI turned a blind eye to how rotten a runner he is. Next they’ll allow motors in bike races while pretending to scan for them.

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71 Replies to “On Rule #42: Running is Balls, Even for the Maillot Jaune”

  1. @ChrisO

    Getting owned by some middle aged bloke dressed in funny clothing who chooses to waste most of his day off in pursuit of something he will never achieve.

     

    The parallels are scary. And it just earned a brownie point at cyclings expense…. :/

     

  2. @frank

    @Clank

    Excellent piece Frank. I watched Froome mincing up Ventoux in utter disbelief. Surely there could be few clearer violations of Rule #42. I was also a bit alarmed that his $18,000 Dogma couldn’t survive a nudge from a Moto as well. Surely the situation called for a casual inspection of the damage, a Gallic shrug of the shoulders and a patient wait for the replacement hideously expensive carbon Pinarello which apparently used champagne stems for seat posts. Having never worn the Maillot Jaune or even come close to winning any of my local D grade races should not of course disqualify me from criticising him, just as it doesn’t prevent me from shouting tactical orders at the TV. Rule #42 is there for a reason – it prevents us from looking even more ridiculous than we already do. A grown man wearing a yellow skivvy trying to climb a mountain in tiny tip toes does not help our cause.

    You, my son, are going places. Exceptionally strong work. Champagne Stems for seat posts, that is some solid French design filtering into those Italian frames. We need to look into that. There must be some tax violations in there somewhere, that could be fun.

    And for the record, even if you’re fat, slow, and stupid, it doesn’t disqualify us (me) from judging wildly from the comfort of our favorite armchair.

    That FroomeDogma is apparently so fragile that if you over something like 70-75kg then you can’t even ride it.

    But, can’t you just picture Sagan in the same situation? I envision him getting off the ground, knowing that the only reason he hits the deck is because of a moto or because he wishes it to be so. As he watches his rivals head up the road, he gazes down at his fractured bike and (provided he didn’t then ride it like a unicycle, which is also possible), he would proceed to start chatting with the crowd and taking selfies until an adequate machine was delivered to him.

    Is this not, then, more of a statement about one’s ability to be Casually Deliberate rather than debating the matter in the context of Rule #42? (I.e. Was he being chased? Does “caught” imply rivals or only flesh-eating mammals?)

     

  3. @dancollins

    @BacklashJack

    I envision Sagan jumping on the motorbike and doing a wheelie up to the finish line!

    Well luckily we have something of a precedent when it comes to Sagan’s reaction to being knocked off by a moto, and I think it’s best described as a kind of “Hulk SMASH!” type reaction.

  4. @BacklashJack

    @frank

    @Clank

    Excellent piece Frank. I watched Froome mincing up Ventoux in utter disbelief. Surely there could be few clearer violations of Rule #42. I was also a bit alarmed that his $18,000 Dogma couldn’t survive a nudge from a Moto as well. Surely the situation called for a casual inspection of the damage, a Gallic shrug of the shoulders and a patient wait for the replacement hideously expensive carbon Pinarello which apparently used champagne stems for seat posts. Having never worn the Maillot Jaune or even come close to winning any of my local D grade races should not of course disqualify me from criticising him, just as it doesn’t prevent me from shouting tactical orders at the TV. Rule #42 is there for a reason – it prevents us from looking even more ridiculous than we already do. A grown man wearing a yellow skivvy trying to climb a mountain in tiny tip toes does not help our cause.

    You, my son, are going places. Exceptionally strong work. Champagne Stems for seat posts, that is some solid French design filtering into those Italian frames. We need to look into that. There must be some tax violations in there somewhere, that could be fun.

    And for the record, even if you’re fat, slow, and stupid, it doesn’t disqualify us (me) from judging wildly from the comfort of our favorite armchair.

    That FroomeDogma is apparently so fragile that if you over something like 70-75kg then you can’t even ride it.

    But, can’t you just picture Sagan in the same situation? I envision him getting off the ground, knowing that the only reason he hits the deck is because of a moto or because he wishes it to be so. As he watches his rivals head up the road, he gazes down at his fractured bike and (provided he didn’t then ride it like a unicycle, which is also possible), he would proceed to start chatting with the crowd and taking selfies until an adequate machine was delivered to him.

    Is this not, then, more of a statement about one’s ability to be Casually Deliberate rather than debating the matter in the context of Rule #42? (I.e. Was he being chased? Does “caught” imply rivals or only flesh-eating mammals?)

    You might want to pop outside and try lifting the nearest motorbike, or even just the front of it. One of the great things about carbon fibre is the ability to design where its strength is and where it isn’t. The benefits of that is being able to choose what flexes and in which direction as well as saving weight by not having the unnecessary bulk required by strengthening bits that don’t need it.  Undoubtedly, Pinnerello could make the Dogma strong enough to withstand being hit/run over by a moto carrying two people and a stack of gear but it’d be pretty shit at going up mountains.

    As for Froome’s subsequent behaviour, the decision to run may not have been the right one but he carried it off with dignity and as much style as you could possibly hope for from a tall, skinny, ungainly man in Lycra and cleats. More of a restrained jog than a clattering panicked sprint. Would we really have applauded him if he’d stopped for selfies? We are, after all a community that takes pride in the importance of looking good both on and off the bike above all else. Stopping to take selfies halfway up such an iconic climb as Ventoux would have been a far greater abuse of the yellow jersey.

  5. @Mikael Liddy

    @dancollins

    @BacklashJack

    I envision Sagan jumping on the motorbike and doing a wheelie up to the finish line!

    Well luckily we have something of a precedent when it comes to Sagan’s reaction to being knocked off by a moto, and I think it’s best described as a kind of “Hulk SMASH!” type reaction.

    You have to think that if Sagan could have spotted the “fan” that caused the blockage the result may have been more like this?

  6. I think the main thing that bothers me (apart from the potential Rule #42 infraction) was that it probably didn’t save him any time; in fact he was running AWAY from the support vehicles with the replacement bikes.

    What’s worse than running? Pointless running.

  7. @RobSandy

    I think the main thing that bothers me (apart from the potential Rule #42 infraction) was that it probably didn’t save him any time; in fact he was running AWAY from the support vehicles with the replacement bikes.

    What’s worse than running? Pointless running.

    When you read his own comments he was just trying to find somewhere with a bit of space.  If he thought the start of the fencing was just up the road it would have made sense to head there.

  8. @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    I think the main thing that bothers me (apart from the potential Rule #42 infraction) was that it probably didn’t save him any time; in fact he was running AWAY from the support vehicles with the replacement bikes.

    What’s worse than running? Pointless running.

    When you read his own comments he was just trying to find somewhere with a bit of space. If he thought the start of the fencing was just up the road it would have made sense to head there.

    We don’t want none of your new-fangled ‘logic’ or ‘facts’ around here.

  9. @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    I think the main thing that bothers me (apart from the potential Rule #42 infraction) was that it probably didn’t save him any time; in fact he was running AWAY from the support vehicles with the replacement bikes.

    What’s worse than running? Pointless running.

    When you read his own comments he was just trying to find somewhere with a bit of space. If he thought the start of the fencing was just up the road it would have made sense to head there.

    We don’t want none of your new-fangled ‘logic’ or ‘facts’ around here.

    Dang sorry.  I’ll go back in the corner and continue beating myself with a mini-pump.

  10. @Al Shepherd

    What bothers me is that he abandoned his mortally wounded bike to the baying mob. Froome briefly lost his mind as the overwhelming urge to win took over but the image should have of him carrying his dead steed with him. In this there would have been great poignancy.

    Ultimately, I need to look into my heart and find forgiveness though. I do this because the man attacked the peloton with the rainbow jersey and it was good. The man also descended like an absolute mentalist and it was truly exhilarating/terrifying.

    100% agree.

  11. I still can’t quite believe I saw someone in the yellow jersey running up a mountain in cycling shoes. So damn bizarre!

  12. @Teocalli

    @Teocalli

    @Mikael Liddy

    @dancollins

    @BacklashJack

    I envision Sagan jumping on the motorbike and doing a wheelie up to the finish line!

    Well luckily we have something of a precedent when it comes to Sagan’s reaction to being knocked off by a moto, and I think it’s best described as a kind of “Hulk SMASH!” type reaction.

    You have to think that if Sagan could have spotted the “fan” that caused the blockage the result may have been more like this?

    I think we can all agree that Hinault had a very classic way of resolving disputes. Le Blaireu!

  13. @chris

    @BacklashJack

    @frank

    @Clank

    Excellent piece Frank. I watched Froome mincing up Ventoux in utter disbelief. Surely there could be few clearer violations of Rule #42. I was also a bit alarmed that his $18,000 Dogma couldn’t survive a nudge from a Moto as well. Surely the situation called for a casual inspection of the damage, a Gallic shrug of the shoulders and a patient wait for the replacement hideously expensive carbon Pinarello which apparently used champagne stems for seat posts. Having never worn the Maillot Jaune or even come close to winning any of my local D grade races should not of course disqualify me from criticising him, just as it doesn’t prevent me from shouting tactical orders at the TV. Rule #42 is there for a reason – it prevents us from looking even more ridiculous than we already do. A grown man wearing a yellow skivvy trying to climb a mountain in tiny tip toes does not help our cause.

    You, my son, are going places. Exceptionally strong work. Champagne Stems for seat posts, that is some solid French design filtering into those Italian frames. We need to look into that. There must be some tax violations in there somewhere, that could be fun.

    And for the record, even if you’re fat, slow, and stupid, it doesn’t disqualify us (me) from judging wildly from the comfort of our favorite armchair.

    That FroomeDogma is apparently so fragile that if you over something like 70-75kg then you can’t even ride it.

    But, can’t you just picture Sagan in the same situation? I envision him getting off the ground, knowing that the only reason he hits the deck is because of a moto or because he wishes it to be so. As he watches his rivals head up the road, he gazes down at his fractured bike and (provided he didn’t then ride it like a unicycle, which is also possible), he would proceed to start chatting with the crowd and taking selfies until an adequate machine was delivered to him.

    Is this not, then, more of a statement about one’s ability to be Casually Deliberate rather than debating the matter in the context of Rule #42? (I.e. Was he being chased? Does “caught” imply rivals or only flesh-eating mammals?)

    You might want to pop outside and try lifting the nearest motorbike, or even just the front of it. One of the great things about carbon fibre is the ability to design where its strength is and where it isn’t. The benefits of that is being able to choose what flexes and in which direction as well as saving weight by not having the unnecessary bulk required by strengthening bits that don’t need it. Undoubtedly, Pinnerello could make the Dogma strong enough to withstand being hit/run over by a moto carrying two people and a stack of gear but it’d be pretty shit at going up mountains.

    As for Froome’s subsequent behaviour, the decision to run may not have been the right one but he carried it off with dignity and as much style as you could possibly hope for from a tall, skinny, ungainly man in Lycra and cleats. More of a restrained jog than a clattering panicked sprint. Would we really have applauded him if he’d stopped for selfies? We are, after all a community that takes pride in the importance of looking good both on and off the bike above all else. Stopping to take selfies halfway up such an iconic climb as Ventoux would have been a far greater abuse of the yellow jersey.

    Didn’t mean to imply that a carbon bike would stand up to a moto. I just thought it was nerdy and interesting to note that his climbing bike this year has a weight safety limit that even Kittel would violate.

    Regarding the selfies (and not being a proponent of them), point is taken. Dignified and casually deliberate waiting would be more V.

    However, in light of his overall body of work in this year’s Tour, my opinion of Froome has significantly increased. While the running was an awful sight to behold and is the anti-casually deliberate as it gets, the converse is that it didn’t get much more majestic than the yellow and green jerseys busting out and winning on a breakaway on a flat stage. I believe moments like that will (and should) be why we will remember the 2016 Tour.

  14. @BacklashJack

     

    I just thought it was nerdy and interesting to note that his climbing bike this year has a weight safety limit that even Kittel would violate.

     

    Where did you get that info – given that (as I understand it) most bikes have to be weighted up to the UCI weight limit there is a limit to just how fragile a bike is going to be.  I do believe the weight limit for a bike was dropped this year, even so I’d still be surprised if it needed such a limit given the strength that can be built into carbon and how light some frames are that are below the UCI limit and available to the public.

  15. @Teocalli

    @BacklashJack

    I just thought it was nerdy and interesting to note that his climbing bike this year has a weight safety limit that even Kittel would violate.

    Where did you get that info – given that (as I understand it) most bikes have to be weighted up to the UCI weight limit there is a limit to just how fragile a bike is going to be. I do believe the weight limit for a bike was dropped this year, even so I’d still be surprised if it needed such a limit given the strength that can be built into carbon and how light some frames are that are below the UCI limit and available to the public.

    depends on which way they lay up the carbon to provide strength, you could squeeze the top tube on my BMC between your fingers, but head tube to seat tube was strong as, I did put the handle bar through that top tube in a crash, had it repaired and I think that repair has actually improved the bike, and I can now wait ‘tranquillo’ without fear of crushing the damn thing.

  16. @piwakawaka

    @Teocalli

    @BacklashJack

    I just thought it was nerdy and interesting to note that his climbing bike this year has a weight safety limit that even Kittel would violate.

    Where did you get that info – given that (as I understand it) most bikes have to be weighted up to the UCI weight limit there is a limit to just how fragile a bike is going to be. I do believe the weight limit for a bike was dropped this year, even so I’d still be surprised if it needed such a limit given the strength that can be built into carbon and how light some frames are that are below the UCI limit and available to the public.

    depends on which way they lay up the carbon to provide strength, you could squeeze the top tube on my BMC between your fingers, but head tube to seat tube was strong as, I did put the handle bar through that top tube in a crash, had it repaired and I think that repair has actually improved the bike, and I can now wait ‘tranquillo’ without fear of crushing the damn thing.

    Quite, that’s the whole point.  Sit the moto on the saddle and it would probably not break, sit it sideways on the seat stay and it will crush it back to powder.  Kinda like the egg.  So unlike some of the silly bikes made in the past purely for climbing that the riders changed to descend I’d be surprised if carbon has such stringent limits in a bike at UCI weight limit.  After all the original weight limits were introduced for rider safety originally in the face of bikes falling apart with the material being used at that time (Alu and Magnesium).

  17. @Teocalli

    @BacklashJack

    I just thought it was nerdy and interesting to note that his climbing bike this year has a weight safety limit that even Kittel would violate.

    Where did you get that info – given that (as I understand it) most bikes have to be weighted up to the UCI weight limit there is a limit to just how fragile a bike is going to be. I do believe the weight limit for a bike was dropped this year, even so I’d still be surprised if it needed such a limit given the strength that can be built into carbon and how light some frames are that are below the UCI limit and available to the public.

    The bike was covered in a new GCN video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSw3L46B46A). It isn’t below the UCI limit, but since Froome rides a 56cm frame they can make it closer to the weight of a smaller frame used by some of his rivals. 70kg is the weight limit, apparently. Something like 80g lighter than the standard F8 Dogma 56cm. I suppose the idea is that it removes the weight “penalty” on a bike for taller riders.

     

  18. @Al Shepherd

    What bothers me is that he abandoned his mortally wounded bike to the baying mob.

    He didn’t abandon his machine to the mob, he walked with it a bit before tossing it up against a moto in a clear violation of Rule #65.  I ask myself why he would do such a thing, why he wouldn’t hoist his bike over a shoulder and go… but then I realize his little vermicelli sticks for arms probably weren’t up for the job.  It’s at this point my disgust turns back to admiration.  Whilst @frank debates how many jugs of milk to buy for fear of bulking up, and I refer back to old tire brochures to decide which year/era of the Michelin Man I looked like today, our boy Froomie obviously had that shit nailed down from the get-go if he’s too weak to lift 6.5-7 kilos.  Jealous.

    But I do agree with you later:

    Froome briefly lost his mind as the overwhelming urge to win took over but the image should have [been] of him carrying his dead steed with him.

    Yup.  It all boils down to this:  Froome made a movie involving Kevin Costner look good by comparison.

  19. @BacklashJack

    @Teocalli

    @BacklashJack

    I just thought it was nerdy and interesting to note that his climbing bike this year has a weight safety limit that even Kittel would violate.

    Where did you get that info – given that (as I understand it) most bikes have to be weighted up to the UCI weight limit there is a limit to just how fragile a bike is going to be. I do believe the weight limit for a bike was dropped this year, even so I’d still be surprised if it needed such a limit given the strength that can be built into carbon and how light some frames are that are below the UCI limit and available to the public.

    The bike was covered in a new GCN video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSw3L46B46A). It isn’t below the UCI limit, but since Froome rides a 56cm frame they can make it closer to the weight of a smaller frame used by some of his rivals. 70kg is the weight limit, apparently. Something like 80g lighter than the standard F8 Dogma 56cm. I suppose the idea is that it removes the weight “penalty” on a bike for taller riders.

    Interesting.  Makes you wonder about the other super light frames out there on the market.

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